Karnataka HC refuses to hold local elections amid the pandemic

The Karnataka Supreme Court dismissed two motions from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) State Convention requesting a postponement of the local elections due to take place on April 27.

Through the requests for intervention, the intervener alleged that the second wave of COVID-19 had caused a serious public health crisis. He alleged that Karnataka state currently has nearly 1.5 lakh active cases and the counties where the elections are due to take place are unable to handle the further surge in cases that may arise as a result of the elections.

The lawyer on behalf of the state election commission stated that the calendar of events was published in March 2021 and that there are currently only polls left.

On hearing the comments made by both parties, the intervener found that the intervener requested drastic relief, that is to say, a suspension of the local elections. The bank stressed that even after March 2020, many states held parliamentary elections, including the state of Karnataka.

The bank also mentioned that under which law the intervener could ask for such a drastic relief.

The bank added that it is the duty of the state election commission to make a decision in such exceptional situations and to adhere to COVID-related norms when voting. On the basis of those reasons, the bank did not grant the intervener any relief.

The bank questioned the intervener’s timing when it asked for a postponement of the local elections at the eleventh hour. The bank also said they took SSLC exams during the lockdown.

The bank therefore rejected the intervener ‘s applications.

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